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Archive for the ‘Philadelphia’ Category

July 12th, 2016

Ants Pants Cafe, La Colombe, Draft Latte, Out & About in Philly, City of Brotherly Love, Saturday, Summer 2016, Sights & Scenes of the City, Philadelphia, PA

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Everyone was driving south as I took for Philly driving north from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  The DE beaches are so crowded.  It is the height of the season.  Hot summer days get everyone out of town.  I love a Saturday and Sunday in a city.  You can walk around with ease.

Such was last Saturday.  I arrived at Rittenhouse Square.  This is one of the prettiest squares in Philadelphia.  Quickly we took a walk to South St. looking for a cafe that is very popular and very understated.  Called Ants Pants Cafe, located at 2212 South St.  Tel. 215-875-8002.  The Cafe has a small terrace in the back if you want to eat al fresco.  They offer breakfast, brunch, and lunch.  They take cash only but there is also an ATM machine inside.  Website? http://www.antspantscafe.com

The Ants Pants Cafe has offerings that could be found in any cafe in Australia.  The coffee is from Australia’s Tobbys Estate.  Ants Pants mean outstandingly good person.

Not knowing what the other table was asking I found out that they had ordered sweet potato fries.  They looked amazing so I had to have them.  They were brought in with sour cream and sweet chili sauces.

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A Spinach Salad with baby spinach, goat cheese, green apples, walnuts, red onions with a balsamaic vinaigrette, dressing, topped with crispy bacon.  An order of yogurt with fruit was also enjoyed.  All good and fresh with very friendly service.  Ants Pants Cafe offer smoothies, milkshakes and juice. It is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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Walking back to Rittenhouse Square I could not believe how quiet the streets were.  People usually do not see Philly this way.  The beautiful streets with its grand row houses and flowers.  The city is getting ready for the Democratic Convention and the Equality Forum.

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Rittenhouse Square has so many shops, restaurants and cafes.  This particular children’s shop caught my attention.  I am putting it in the post because I have so many friends becoming grandparents.  Check it out ladies.

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From tailoring, reconstruction, and custom design, Irina Sigal is on Locust Street.  Dressmaker Irina Sigal…www.irinasigal.com.

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These people were having fun discovering the city. Exploring Philly like never before.  It is a 15 guest bike. An open air tour bus. You are among other riders who might want to pedal around Philly during the day and during evenings stop at favorite bars.  They offer history tours, food tours, fitness rides, kids’ parties, and a new history tour with Ben Franklin.  Please visit http://www.bigredpedaltours.com

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Time for coffee.  The daily addiction.  I remember not that long ago in Puerto Rico, they thought that Americans did not know how to drink coffee.  Not strong enough, they would say.  Well that has certainly changed with amazing coffee shops found all throughout the nation.  One coffee shop being mentioned as one of the bests nationwide is La Colombe.  I arrived at this coffee shop located at 130 South 19th street in Philadelphia.  Tel. 215-563-0860.  It was packed with customers drinking the most incredible coffee.  This is not the only spot in Pennsylvania.  They have opened coffee shops in Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York.  Check their website at http://www.lacolombe/blogs/cafes.

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La Colombe takes an iced coffee to a different level.  First ever Draft Latte, a take on the draft beers, except it is coffee. It even has the foam.  Now you can even find it in a can!!  It certainly was delicious sipped among others in this coffee shop which reminds me of a coffee shop in Europe.

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Things cannot be that bad in the world as long as there is coffee…lol.

We could not get into this tiny bar called the Graffitti Bar.  Through the alley way we went only to find it completely full.  Oh well, another time.

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There was a bit of thunder and a few sprinkles.  Time to head back home but not before I saw this couple.  Yes, romance is still in the air.

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April 12th, 2015

Destination? STReat Festival, Manayunk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Restaurant Week, 4/12-4/24, Philly Trucks!!, Beast & Ale, Restaurant, Philadelphia Dishes Delicious!, Beautiful Spring Day!

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Indeed it is a beautiful spring day through the Mid Atlantic.  Manayunk in Philadelphia, PA, will be hosting the first of two STReat Festivals and Restaurant Weeks beginning today, Sunday, April 12th.  Twice a year these events are capturing foodies throughout the Mid Atlantic because as we all know Philadelphia can Dish Delicious!!

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Oh by the way, I would have been there just like I was in the fall but I have an HOA meeting…thanks to my neighbor Mark.  Glad I can help.

Manayunk is located on the banks of the Schuykill River and in the northwest section of the City of Philadelphia.  It has a long history.  For many years it was not popular but just like the trend in many cities….some of these Main Sreets are being celebrated and renewed.  Restaurants, shops, the river, sports and a hip place to live, are making Manayunk a destination.  For more information, please visit http://www.manayunk.com.

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Main Street will be closed off.  Parking around town will be available.  Info. on parking can be found on the above mentioned website.  Like about 11 a.m. you will see visitors strolling Main Street looking for their favorite Philly Food Trucks….50 of them for the event.  Food trucks are mobile restaurants and some traditional restaurants are a bit threatened by them.  Usually reasonably priced, the food is cooked on the spot and very good

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Mama’s Meatballs Truck will be there.  This is a favorite and you will find a line to get these delicious meatballs.

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Last year we tried:  Mama’s Meatballs on the left hand side with beef, pork, veal mix, topped with arugula and Parmesan.  On the right, the Apple Bomb made with 100% turkey mixed with sauteed spinach, Granny Smith, stuffed with roasted red pepper, Asiago, and topped with spicy Fresno Chili Apple Chutney.  These meatball sliders were…Yummy!  They are working on their website, but you can find Mama’s Meatballs on Facebook.

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The only Mac ‘n Cheese food truck in Philly is MacMart.   Just as popular as the meatball truck, you will find people waiting in line.  If you do not make it to the festival, this food truck is usually parked by Drexel University.  More info?  http://www.macmartcart.com.

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A Latin Food Truck called Delicias was a bit more expensive but it was worth having the arepas.

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On the photo:  The left arepa was filled with shredded chicken tossed in guacamole and mayo.  On the right, was the shredded beef, sweet plantains, b lack beans, and Cotija cheese.

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Up close to the Shreeded Beef Arepa…

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I had never seen a Fashion Truck….all girly, glam and funky.  It was called Smak Parlour.  Just climb up and shop.  More info?  http://www.smakparlour.com.

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Restaurant Week Begins Today, Sunday, April 12th through Friday, April 24th.  Restaurants that you might not have tried before for one reason or another….try them at great prices!  Check http://www.manayunk.com/signature-events/spring-streat-food-festival/restaurant-week-menus.html

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I have been thinking about the Whipped Cauliflower that I had at Beast & Ale, located at 4161 Main St. in Manayunk.  Tel. 267-437-3936.  Website?  http://beastandale.com Very casual restaurant.  Not an extensive menu but what they have is soooo good.  Plenty of craft beers and spirits.  This is a brother restaurant to Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz, and Taqueria Feliz.

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The Whipped Cauliflower with black olive tapenade, parsley, and served with toasted bread.  Something so simple and good…can’t wait to have it again.

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Baby Beast Burger….The baby was plenty big.  American cheese, pickles, avocado…the works on a Brioche.   If you are looking for a good burger in Manayunk, this is the place.

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Fried Bologna Sandwich?  Oh yes!!  Fried Egg on Top?  Bring it On!!  American Cheese, tomato and a dijonnaise sauce.

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Enjoy this gorgeous day…we deserve having a day like today!!

November 3rd, 2014

Meatless Monday!! Rehoboth Beach Eats! Veggie Loaf, Gluten Free, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware

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I have tons of cookbooks.  Not enough years to read them.  Some I like better than others.  This Meatless Monday recipe is not my own, but I treat it like it is.  It was Giada’s mother’s recipe.  It is good;  perfect for company.  A little tricky getting out of the loaf pan, though.

Veggie Loaf gives you an opportunity to leave meats on the side.  Just by itself, it is plenty.  Serve it with a fruit salad would be my choice.

VEGGIE LOAF

LOAF:

Cooking Spray

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion, chopped (finely, please)

1 shredded carrot

1 celery stalk, sliced (thinly, please)

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 15 ounce canned cooked lentils, drained

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup canned corn

1/3 cup chopped basil leaves (If not available use basil paste by the vegetables in the grocery store.  Use about 2 tablespoons.)

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 tsp. kosher salt (optional)

1/2 tsp. freshly black pepper

2 medium tomatoes, sliced (You can use smaller tomatoes, as well.)

SAUCE:

1 box (pint) cherry tomatoes, halved

3 scallions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)

8 fresh basil leaves (Use basil paste, if fresh basil leaves are unavailable.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp. Kosher salt (optional)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Make the sauce first and just put it aside.  In a blender or food processor chopped the ingredients.  Do not puree, you want them a little coarse.  I used a blender.

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Proceed with the loaf:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, carrot, onion, celery….cook for about 5 minutes or so stirring frequently.  Put in a large bowl to cool.

In the same skillet, cook spinach until it wilts, which does not take long.  Drain and let cool slightly.  Squeeze the excess liquid.  On a cutting board coarsely chop it.  Add to the onion mixture.

Add the lentils, brown rice, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, the corn, basil, eggs, egg white, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of the sauce to the already cooled veggie mixture.

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Fill the loaf pan with this mixture.  Arrange the tomatoes in a couple of rows, depending on their size, covering the mixture.

Sprinkle the remining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

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Bake until loaf is heated through and the topping has melted and starts to brown.  It might take 35 minutes or a bit more.  Let it cool for about 15 minutes.

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Slicing this loaf is tricky.  Do so while the loaf is still in the pan.  Do not attempt to take it out.  Otherwise, you will have to do some rearranging.

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I think 1 inch slices will be a good portion.  Arrange on plates and top with sauce.  Enjoy your Meatless…..whatever day you want it to be.

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Note:  This recipe was gluten free.  Please check the labels for canned goods, grate your own mozzarella cheese or read the label on the bag.  If using basil paste instead of fresh basil, Gourmet Garden, Basil Paste is gluten free and usually available by the produce in the local grocery stores.

October 1st, 2014

Destination? Manayunk, Streat Food Festival, Restaurant Week, Until Friday, October 10th, Philadelphia, PA, Food Trucks, Vendors, Entertainment…Philly’s First Fashion Truck!

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Manayunk is located in the northwestern section of the City of Philadelphia and on the banks of the Schuykill River.  For years it was just there and in need of TLC…not anymore.  It is a city capturing the young professionals, single and with families, moving to this town that has shops, restaurants, bars, and a place to enjoy the outdoors….just a few miles from everything Philadelphia has to offer.

Main Street is long covering more than several blocks.  Restaurants have outdoor seatings, perfect for when the weather is nice.  To know more about Manayunk, please visit http://www.manayunk.com.

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Manayunk’s Annual Streat Food Festival was Saturday, September 28th.  This was also the opening of their Restaurant Week, which will go on until Friday, October 10th.  Restaurant Week offers 3 courses and 3 prices.  Visit the website above mentioned for more information and to find out the participating restaurants.

I arrived at the Streat Festival early so as to find parking which, actually, ended up being very easy.  Everything was very well organized.  Saturday’s big event was the Food Trucks.  Philadelphia is known for its amazing food.  There were about 40 food trucks lining Main Street.  Some people knew exactly where they were going….they had their favorites.  I had my son, Michael, to show me the way.

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Food trucks are mobile restaurants, or mobile cuisine.  The trend continues to grow and there are no signs of them slowing down.  They say that food trucks are restaurants’ worst nightmare.  In Philly you can find them around all the universities, feeding those hungry students.

Yoga on the Street…..Was I supposed to join them before hitting the food trucks?  Plenty of others did.

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Musicians were available to entertain the crowds.

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And, as soon as the Beer Garden opened…the crowds followed.  It was such a gorgeous day.  Perfect for a festival.

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Mama’s Meat Ball was a winner.  That’s the first Food Truck we hit….my son said that their slider meatballs are just awesome.  Their address is 1426 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125.  Tel. 267-530-1493.  Website?  http://www.mamasmeatballphilly.com.  You can also find them on Facebook.

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The following photo shows what we ordered:  On the left is Mama’s Ball…beef, pork, veal mix, topped with arugula and Parmesan.  On the right is my Apple Bomb made with 100% turkey mixed with sauteed spinach, Granny Smith, stuffred with roasted red pepper, Asiago, and topped with spicy Fresno Chili-Apple Chutney.  Totally the best.  People sitting around were raving about them, as well.

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The smallest Food Truck was the Korean Truck Kami….small but popular.  You can find Kami at N. 33rd St. at Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.  Tel. 215-555-5555.  On Facebook, as well.

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Another most popular food truck and one we did not try was Mac Mart.  It is Philadelphia’s only Mac ‘n Cheese Food Truck.  They are usually located by Drexel University.  Tel. 267-908-5662  Website?  http://www.macmartcart.com Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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We decided to stop at Delicias.  Their specialty?  Latin Food and Arepas.  Arepas are grilled corn patties that can be filled with almost anything you can think of.

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The first photo shows on the left an Arepa filled with Shredded Chicken tossed in guacamole and mayo.  On the right is my own which had Shredded Beef, sweet plantains, black beans and Cotija Cheese.  This was an expensive Food Truck.  Both of those, which by the way, were completely filled and heavy, plus 2 waters…..a total price of $26!!

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You can take a peek at mine…a close-up.

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We were totally satisfied, but continued walking Main Street.  I found Sweet Elizabeth’s Edible Art to be at the perfect location on Main Street at 4409 Maint St…… I will have to visit them another time.  In the meantime, their edible art looked beautiful.  You can find them on Facebook as Sweet Elizabeth Cakes.  Tel. 267-331-8949.  Website?  http://www.sweetelizabethscakes.com.  They make everything from scratch, with a specialty on custom designed cakes.

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Philadelphia has its first Fashion Truck….it was also mingling with the Food Trucks.  It is called Smak Parlour Fashion Truck.  http://www.smakparlour.com.

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This is a girly, glam and funky truck.   The Boutique is on 219 Market Street in Old City.  The Fashion Truck travels to events throughout the city, but it can also come to your home, office or party.  It is a fun shopping extravaganza.  Smak Parlour has also its own line of in-house designed clothing.  Visit the above mentioned website to see where they will be going next.

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It was time to head back to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware…..Main Street was so crowded and I wanted to have a head start….the Eagles were playing, NASCAR was also in Dover….Yikes….it took me a long time to get home but not as long as the ones that were heading north.

Note:  The Streat Festival is around the same time each year.  Save the Date…it is worth going, especially if you like to Eat…On the STREAT!!

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September 26th, 2014

TGIF, Crawling Philly, Talula’s Daily, Restaurant, Starr Restaurant Group, Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is located only about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Philadelphia.  Crawling Philly for the day is no big deal.

We arrived at Talula’s Daily in the afternoon.  Come to think of it…..right before 5 p.m.  Perfect timing, right?  It is located at 208 West Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA 19166.  Tel. 215-592-6555.  Website?  http://www.talulasdaily.com.

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Talula’s Daily is part of the Starr Restaurant Group in Philly known for quality of food and unique restaurants.

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Washington Square is part of the Washington Square West and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia.  It is a U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Walking around these squares and neighborhoods is always a treat.  Residents do enjoy the outdoors.

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Talula’s Daily is not a big restaurant but when you come in you can see how cozy it is.  The Farm Table or Communal Table is in the middle of the room with smaller tables around it.  It is the “it” table to grab.  We, actually, did but I can see that for dinner it might be a quest.

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The restaurant offers a wide range of foods….from soups to nuts and anything in between with drinks to accompany your choices.

We were fixed up with a variety of cheeses.  That’s all we wanted.

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Great presentation.  All cheeses delicious with my particular favorite….the Beemster Goat Gouda.

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St. Agur, a French Blue

Vintage Gouda, a Holland, Cow’s Milk

Truffle Gouda, another Holland, Cow’s Milk

Ossau Iraty, Basque, Sheep’s Milk

Beemster Goat Gouda, Holland, Goat’s Milk

Moses Sleeper, Vermont, Cow’s Milk

Note:  Please check the website.  If very informative with plenty of dining events that look so much fun!! And, “Like” them on Facebook.

Have a great week-end!!

August 27th, 2014

DE Beaches Eat!! Tomato, Peach, Corn and Feta Salad, Sugar Meets Salt, Easy, Delicious!! Perfect for Labor Day Cook-Out!!, Southern Delaware, Delaware Beaches

The tomatoes are at the height of the season, the peaches are still sweet….this is pretty much a raw salad.  Bursting with flavor, it has everything to offer for a perfect end of the summer 2014 meal.

When I made this salad I used gluten free bread.  The recipe, actually calls for white bread with crusts removed.  Your choice.

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TOMATO, PEACH, CORN, AND FETA SALAD

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut or torn into small pieces

1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

2 ears fresh corn, shucked

4 ripe tomatoes, a variety of colors….or plain red will do.  About 2 lbs.

4 large peaches (about 2 lbs. too)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallots (I used red onion.)

3/4 cups of sheep’s milk feta, crumbled

Pulse the bread in a blender or food processor until the bread breaks down into coarse crumbs.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, warm 1/2 cup of oil.  Once warm, add breadcrumbs and gently toast until golden and crispy.  Transfer crumbs to a plate line with paper towels.  Season with salt.

Using a sharp knife, slice corn kernels off the cob.

Cut tomatoes and peaches, preferably into wedges.  Place in large bowl with onion slivers and corn kernels.  Season with salt, optional.

Add the Feta cheese.

Add  6 tablespoons of oil and toss to combine. And then, sprinkle your favorite white balsamic vinegar.  My choice was Cranberry Pear White Balsamic from the new store in Downtown Rehoboth Beach….The Olive Orchard.

Distribute salad among plates, then scatter breadcrumbs on top…..serve and enjoy!!

August 22nd, 2014

Crawling Philly, Pho 75, Vietnamese Restaurant, Soup Parlor, Philadelphia, PA, Brisket, Tripe, Eye-Round…Yummy!

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is full of ethnic restaurants.  From street food to fine dining, it is a fabulous place to spend some time crawling the City of Brotherly Love.

Pho is the street food in Vietnam that was, originally, sold at dawn and dusk by roaming vendors.  My son invited me to crawl Philly and our first stop was Pho 75.  This soup parlor has been visited by Anthony Bourdain several times.  When my son visited for the first time, he told I, definitely, needed to try it.

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There are 2 Pho 75 in Philly.  We went to the one located at 1122 Washington Avenue.  Tel. 215-5866. Other locations are:  Maryland; Langley Park, Rockville, Virginia; Arlington (my son just visited that one, as well), Falls Church, and Herndon.

Pho 75 was immaculate, the service was prompt and no sooner it had opened…..customers kept coming in.

You have to understand that pho is a soup.  The soups are served with rice noddles.  You can order either a small bowl or a large bowl for sharing like we did.  Then you have to order cuts of beef as toppings or do like we did and order the pho straight from the menu.

We order the pho with slices of eye-round steak, well done flank, soft tendom, and beef tripe.  The large bowl arrived quickly with extra bowls on the side and bean sprouts, hot pepper, slices of lemon and fresh basil leaves.

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Then it was up to me to fix my bowl to my liking.

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The broth was delicate, full of flavor but not overly salted, which I was surprised.

Totally recommend it.  Great value…I think lunch for 2 including tea and tip was about $10.00.

Note:  This soup is gluten free.

Have a great day!.

May 11th, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! Enjoy the Day!!

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I wish all my friends and readers a beautiful day.  I remember when I became a Mother, I was totally complete.

For those of you you who Mother someone in your life….Happy Mother’s Day!

Note:  The photo was taken in Bethany Beach the other day.  It is not unusual to see families like this throughout the Delaware Beaches in the Spring.  I never get tired of looking at them.

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